Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stuck In My Head: Feel The Love - Rudimental

This is, for the most part, a hip hop blog.  But every once in a while, other stuff I'm digging will find its way on here.

Rudimental out of the UK were, for me, one of those gems you find restoring your faith in the possibility that not everything made in the last then years is crap.  Call it grumpy, mid-thirties purist syndrome.

I described "Feel The Love" as soulful drum & bass to an acquaintance, but it doesn't quite convey the beauty of this record.  Soulful drum & bass tends to make people think the kind of stuff Hospital Records, or deFunked did: dreamy smooth, occasionally soulful vocals, appropriate for Miami hotel roof pool parties, and places with dim lighting.  I love that stuff.

But "Feel The Love" is not that kind of soulful drum & bass.  "Feel The Love" is the raucous, wailing, sweat-inducing spirit of 60's soul music wed to the drums and rhythms born - fittingly enough - in early-Nineties' England.

The track itself is beautiful. And it is the little touches that make it what it is.  The Hammond B3 in the background, the horn section lead in from the breakdown.  The rhythm transition in the last third of the song after the breakdown.  And all of that would only make it a really good song.

What rockets it into potentially transcendental is John Newman.  This kid has a voice like whiskey & cigarettes & unicorns.  It's the kind of voice capable of holding so much emotion in its timbre and tone and soul.  Echoes of Otis Redding out of a pasty faced kid from northern England.

The combination is anthemic, feel good, ridiculously joyful noise.  It was released early last year, and I get dumbfounded when I wonder why this hasn't been bigger in the States.

And the video is a study in "WTF?"  And it works.  Who would have guessed that somewhere in Philly (presumably near Fletcher Street) is the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, an outreach organization that tries to keep at risk youth out of trouble through horsemanship?

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